Thursday in the Octave of Christmas
FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS-CARD PLAYING DAY
Psalm 27, verse 3:
3Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not FEAR; Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.
In a purer sense an army does encamp against every follower of Christ; it is the army of the devil and those under his flag in this world. They do wage a war against us, and our only hope is to trust in Christ. If we trust all we need say for God’s help is three simple words: “Come Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit coming to sinful men is what Holy week is all about. It is what Christ’s sacrifice was all about. Mary of Medjugorje tells us that, “The most important thing is to pray to the Holy Spirit” Because if one has the Spirit “one has everything.
Therefore, when the spirit convicts you of an action do not hesitate. Don’t be like the unfaithful servant, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
1733 The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."
Feast of the Holy Innocents
THE account of the martyrdom of these children is
given in the gospel of to-day. The Church justly honors them as martyrs, since
they confessed Christ, if not by the mouth, yet by their death, which they
suffered by reason of Herod s hatred against Christ.
The Introit of the Mass reads: “Out of the mouth of infants and suckling’s Thou hast perfected praise, because of Thy enemies, O Lord. O Lord, how admirable is Thy name in the whole earth.”
O God, Whose praise the martyred innocents confessed on this day not by speaking, but by dying mortify in us all the evils of vices, that our life also may confess by actions Thy faith, which our tongue proclaims.
EPISTLE. Apoc. xiv. 1-5.
In those days I beheld a Lamb standing upon Mount Sion, and with Him a hundred forty-four thousand having His name, and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the noise of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as the voice of harpers, harping on their harps. And they sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the ancients: and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand, who were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were purchased from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb: and in their mouth there was found no lie: for they are without spot before the throne of God.
GOSPEL. Matt. ii. 13-18.
At that time: An angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and His Mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee: for it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy Him. Who arose, and took the child and His Mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the Wise Men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men-children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the “Wise Men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
What persons are like Herod?
All those who destroy children, in body or in soul; for example, unmanly men who are cruel to their wives while with child, who strike them, incite them to anger, or terrify them; heedless parents who neglect their little ones, who do not take pains to keep them clean and healthy; those corrupt and godless women who destroy the fruit of their shame either before or after birth, and while yet unbaptized. But more cruel than all these, and even than Herod himself, are they who scandalize little children by impure conversations, by indecent songs, by acts of impurity in their presence, or by inciting them to the like; for thereby they plunge the souls of the children into destruction.
In many religious communities, Innocents' Day was the
traditional feast for the youngest members. In keeping with the upside-down
spirit of Twelfth night, the youngest novice had the privilege of sitting at
the first place or even of being abbot for a day. Feast of the Holy Innocents
is a day for the younger members of the family or religious community. Some
kind of "baby food"
-- such as a hot cereal
with sugar and cinnamon -- is generally served to them. In the family, the
youngest member is also the "celebrity" of the day, especially if he
is a baby. Customs like decorating
the crib or blessing the baby are appropriate ways of
observing the feast. Today, on the day in which little ones shed their blood
for Christ, was the festival for choirboys
Feast of the Holy Innocents - Day Four
Innocents saved the Child Jesus from death by King Herod by the shedding of
their own blood. The Holy Innocents are the special patrons of small children,
who can please the Christ Child by being obedient and helpful to parents, and
by sharing their toys and loving their siblings and playmates.
The feast of
the Holy Innocents is an excellent time for parents to inaugurate the custom of
blessing their children. From the Ritual comes the form which we use on solemn
occasions, such as First Communion. But parents can simply sign a cross on the
child's forehead with the right thumb dipped in holy water and say: May God
bless you, and may He be the Guardian of your heart and mind—the Father, + Son,
and Holy Spirit. Amen.
O Lord, Jesus Christ, Who didst embrace
and lay thy hands upon the little children when they came to thee, and didst
say to them: "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs, and their angels always see the face of my
Father," — look with a Father's eye upon the innocence of these children
and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day through our ministry. By
thy grace and goodness let them make progress in desiring thee, loving thee,
fearing thee, obeying thy commandments — thus coming to their destined home,
through thee, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit
livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.
Today I will ask the Lord to bless all my seven children! (Claire, Christopher, Candace, Dara, Rachel, Nicole and Vincent)
Four Calling Birds
Today in the song the 12 days of Christmas the 4th day we sing of the Four Calling Birds which represent the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. During the upcoming year it would make a worthy project to read them all. These gospels will help us to be persons of courage.
Read: Read today about the Holy Innocents who were put to death by King Herod.
Reflect: The observances of the Christmas season
illuminate many key themes for the faithful. Meditate today on this
"The sacredness of human life and the wonderful event that is every birth, since the Word of life came amongst men and was made visible through his birth of the Virgin Mary (see 1 Jn 1:2)."
Pray the Rosary for life today.
Act: Add an intercession for life that has particular meaning for your
family to the mealtime blessing today.
Card Playing Day
The holiday season has come and gone, and the end of the
year is in sight. You know what you need to do now? That’s right, you need to
sit back and play out a few rounds of solitaire, or maybe get the family
together for a night of Texas Hold’em, Slap Jack, or War. Whatever your
pleasure, Card Playing Day is a chance to wind down from all the kerfuffle of
the season by engaging in a card game or three. Playing cards are thought to
have first been introduced to the world in China before spreading across the globe
to India, Persia, and ultimately every corner of this… sphere. Ok, so that
corner thing never has made sense, unless you’re talking about a rectangular
playing card, which thankfully we are! A whole pack of them in fact. Playing
cards have always been the last bastion of entertainment in inclement weather,
and thus were a favorite of the winter holidays. After all, before the
invention of television and electricity, what was one to do when you’d heard
all of Uncle Joe’s story, and couldn’t possibly bring yourself to lay your eyes
on another dog-eared novel? That’s right, you play cards! There are numerous
games that exist in the world, hundreds from every culture imaginable. Some
games are unique to a particular region, or at least distinct to it (Like
Baccarat) or can be found in variations all over the world while clearly being
recognizable (like poker). Others still involve the use of playing boards as a
utility in keeping track of points, such as cribbage. Card Playing Day is an
opportunity and excuse to return to this age-old form of entertainment, and to
spend a little time alone, or connecting with your family.
to celebrate Card Playing Day
Well, the simplest way to celebrate Card Playing Day is, of
course, to participate in the aforementioned past-time! However, if you’re
really looking to make an experience out of Card Playing Day, you may consider
trying to learn a variation of a game you already know, or even learning a
completely new card game altogether. There’re countless games out there you can
learn, and if the game you know has lost its appeal, it’s time to learn another
one! We also suggest getting out there and investing in a new deck of cards,
there are limitless variations on style and theme, and a new deck can make a
new game even more fun!
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
ONE-THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Article 6-MORAL CONSCIENCE
"Conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is
alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths" (GS 16).
Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the
moral quality of a concrete act.
the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge
of conversion and of hope.
well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments
according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of
the Creator. Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.
Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in
accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous
judgment that departs from them.
human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.
Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance
and errors are not always free of guilt.
Word of God is a light for our path. We must assimilate it in faith and prayer
and put it into practice. This is how moral conscience is formed.
is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday
commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is
the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by
making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stopping by the
grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank
our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.
Today’s menu is in anticipation of
Read-Theodore Dresser’s (died today 1945) writer of
“Sister Carrie” a Novel about the killing of childlike innocence.
 Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896